Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams graduated from Seton Hall, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She earned a Master’s of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Ellis-Williams earned her doctorate in Public Policy from Cornell University, School of Human Ecology.
Dr. Ellis-Williams is Chair and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University. She teaches courses on Black Womanhood; Diversity & Difference; Women’s Lives; Women & Leadership; Women, Hip-Hop & Social Change; Urban Men of Color; Race, Class, Gender Activism.
Dr. Ellis-Williams was invited to present a TEDx Talk, Finding Justice in the Land of the Free, Art House Productions, Jersey City, June 2015. Some other recent presentations and papers include “Black Women’s Use of Spoken Word Tradition as Resistance: Virtual vs. Live Expressions”, University of San Antonio, TX, April 2015; “When the Booty is White: Race, Identify, Appropriation and the Lingering Sarah Baartman Effect on Young Black Women”; Keynote Speaker, Kean University, Comparative Analysis of Women in the African Diaspora: Egypt and Ghana; Criminalizing Black Rage: Case Study Analysis of Newark, Los Angeles and Ferguson; and Black Women’s Use of Spoken Word Tradition as Resistance: Virtual vs. Live Expressions March 2015; Featured Poet, Jersey City Book Festival, “Tales of Our Cities”, September 2014; Poetry Reading, Harlem Book Fair, Military Park, Newark, New Jersey, July 2014; Book Reading & Discussion, Literary Voices Book Club, Plainfield, New Jersey, July 2014; Poetry Reading & Discussant, A Tribute to Amiri Baraka, Bowery Poetry Club, New York, 2014; Contributor in book Edited by Dr. Willard W. C. Ashley Learning to Lead, (Chapter 30) Part III: Multiple Perspectives on “Working with the Black Diaspora” Learning to Lead, published by SkyLight Paths Publishing, a division of LongHill Partners; “Race and the Multicultural Discourse” (The Academic Forum: New Jersey City University, 2001); “Womb to Womb: Heart and Soul Secrets” (Women on Campus, 2000); “Discovering the Possibilities: A Study of African American Youth Resistance and Activism” (Education Forum, 2008), among many others.
Other research interests include work on Immigrants in the African Diaspora; Urban Politics; Youth, Women and Empowerment; Social Justice and Race, Civil Rights; Immigration; Cultural Diversity, Women and Leadership and African American Male Issues. Dr. Ellis-Williams’ book Black Gardenias: A Collection of Poems, Stories & Sayings From a Woman’s Heart (2014). Other poetry publications include Chasing Sunsets of Brick Seas: Healing A’int Easy; Writings of Newark Teens (2019) (Editor); Womb of Violet: An Anthology (2019) Introduction and Contributor.
Dr. Ellis-Williams presented at Oxford University in London, England on Human Rights. Her topic was “Transforming Communities: An Examination of a Womanist Paradigm and It’s Universality in Human Rights”. Dr. Ellis-Williams has presented at many conferences and seminars, among them the WEB. DuBois Scholars at Princeton University, Kean University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Seton Hall University, New Jersey Project, Leadership Newark, Association of Black Cultural Centers, The Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leadership at Rutgers University and New Jersey Black Issues Convention.
Dr. Ellis-Williams is a member of the board of Trustees for the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice. She is a former member of New Jersey Supreme Court Committee Concerns on Minority Concerns. She is a past President of the Board of Trustees for East Orange Hospital where she served on the board for 10 years. She has served as Chair of Governance Committee EOGH, member of Finance, and Quality committees. Under her leadership the New Jersey Hospital Association has sited EOGH as a Board Model in Governance. In January 2011 the New Jersey Hospital Association named Ellis-Williams “Trustee of the Year”. She was awarded the 2008 Shirley Chisholm Award in Health Care, the recipient of the 2008 Caribbean Medical Mission Leadership Award and a finalist for 2009 NJBIZ Health Hero Educator. Additionally, Dr. Ellis-Williams formerly served on the New Jersey Hospital Association Governance Council and the Regional Policy Board for the American Hospital Association (AHA) and a member of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Hospital Association.
Dr. Ellis-Williams is the recipient of numerous awards including Who’s Who (2010-2011), Essex County Civic Club Crispus Attucks Award, MLK Jr. Steward of the Dream honoree NJPAC/NAACP (2016), NJCU MLK Jr. Community Service Award (2017) and many others.
She is a visual artist. She works in mixed media abstract digital art that explores the intersection of identity, immigration, nature and social justice through collage. Exhibitions include Identity + Context Pop-Up Art Show with Nell painter, (2016), MLK Jr. Art Show at Bethany Baptist (2017); iPadology/Abstract Impressions, West Orange Arts Council (2017). Solo exhibit Girlhood/UnDone, New Jersey City University (2018); and Newark Arts Festival, (2019).
Antoinette is a playwright, visual artist, poet and filmmaker. Her play Scarf Diaries: A Play About Women, Life and Entanglements debut at NJPAC, November 2017; author of Black Gardenias: A Collections of Poems, Stories, & Saying From A Woman's Heart. In 2016, she was the Winner of the Paul Robeson Short Documentary Award for “Lee Hagan: Connecting Generations”, Newark Black Film Festival. Her credits include producer, co-director, and writer.
Dr. Ellis-Williams is a minister at Bethany Baptist Church. She is married to Junius Williams and mother to Junius Onome and Che.
Photo Credit: Leona Strassberg Steiner